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The Constance Pulz Prize

Libby Bernadin

A Piece of Light Fabric: List

A Piece of Light Fabric

As a child skipping rope, I ached to touch
winter’s gunmetal sky,
snow over green ground—
and I jump high enough to catch the gauze-filled blue
to hold the sun, to follow the sparrow feeding
on pyracanthia berries, seed eater, yellowish bill,
reddish-grey cap, fluttering in fall flame,
how easily she wings her way—

In Autumn, darting with Gulf Fritillary
red-orange wings, white spots tremble
with black nymphful cut of wing
birthed by a green orange-striped
caterpillar weaving a chrysalis,
death carves its own place, child unaware—

Now my dreams skim like dragonflies over creek water,
prowl like a cottonmouth moccasin, twist and turn
in river’s shadow, a constant roam away from headwaters
through a bramble’s snarl, spilling hush into an ocean
and there—I turn a corner,
as once in the National Gallery of Art
I came upon Dali’s The Sacrament of the Last Supper
breath freezes—what’s the truth of it?
This slender life laid down like a piece of light fabric
embraces a last meal, right hand pointing upward,
left hand at gentle rest near the throat—What trust
in what shapes us, what surety in transcendence,
how it lives with grub-shaping birth.

A Piece of Light Fabric: Text
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